In this post, we will explain what is Bionic Reading and also how to use Bionic Reading on Chrome or Edge using a browser extension. Our minds can read faster than our eyes. As per the researchers, our mind never reads all the letters of a word, it reads the word as a whole. It doesn’t matter if the letters are placed in the wrong order, if the first and last letter of a word is placed correctly, we can read that word.
Don’t believe me? Try reading the next lines, and let me know via comments if you can-
I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulacity uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonnmeal pweor of hmuan mnid.
I am sure you can. The reason behind this is that our human brain stores the words we know and thus we can read a complete word just by seeing the first two letters. The same is the concept of Bionic Reading.
What is Bionic Reading?
Bionic Reading is a new method of reading that creates the artificial fixation points in the words thereby guiding our eye through the text. It highlights the first 2/3/4 letters of the word (depending on the word) so that our eyes read-only on the highlighted letters and our brain understands the whole word. This technique makes reading easier and faster. It is especially helpful when we have to read some huge contracts or terms and conditions online.
In normal reading, we tend to read all the letters of a word but in the Bionic Reading format, when the first few letters are highlighted, our mind and our eyes will focus only on the highlighted letters. This not just improves your reading speed but also reduces the stress on your eyes while reading. Also, one of the best things about Bionic Reading is that it doesn’t change the layout, margin, line heights, etc of the text you are reading, unlike the other speed reading tools.
The Bionic Reading tool is now available as a Chrome extension and Edge Add-on too. Let’s see how we use Bionic Reading on our browsers.
Use Bionic Reading on Chrome
The Bionic Reading tool is available as a Chrome extension and you can simply download it and add it to your browser. Pin the extension in your toolbar if you want to use it frequently.
Whenever you are reading something, simply click on the extension pinned on your toolbar and the tool will highlight the first few letters of every word. As you can see in the screenshot above, in the first paragraph you can see the text written normally and the second one is converted by the Bionic Reading tool where the first few letters of every word are highlighted. Which one seems easier to read? Also, it has options to change the font, size, alignment, spacing, etc.
Simply click on the X button when you are done with the reading. You can also download the text in this format by clicking the download button in the lower right corner of your screen or can share it directly with any Kindle email address.
Customize settings of Bionic Reading Chrome extension
After activating the Bionic Reading mode on a webpage, you can also access and customize the settings of this Bionic reading Chrome extension at your convenience. Click on the Settings icon present in the top-right corner and the settings panel will open where all options are present. Here are some of the important settings:
- Switch between Letters and Syllables BR Algorithm mode. In the Letters mode, you can define the settings for saccade and fixation and the BR algorithm will use those settings. In the Syllables mode, the syllables of the words present on the webpage are used as the base for fixation
- Adjust fixation and saccade base values using the given sliders for the selected BR Algorithm mode. A separate slider is given for each option
- Select the parts of the speech (Noun, Adjectives, Prepositions, Verbs, Conjunctions, Articles, Adverbs, etc.) for the Bionic Reading algorithm. After that, it will consider only those parts of speech and adjust Bionic Reading for the webpage accordingly. Click on the Advanced Settings button in the panel and then you can toggle part of the speech categories
- Switch between the light mode and dark mode using a toggle. You can also set the dark mode level using a slider
- Select a color scheme: A total of 9 color schemes (including the default) are available to choose from
- Adjust the fixation visibility and visibility for the remaining letters in the webpage using the sliders available in the Opacity section
- Change the font (more than 10 fonts are available) and set the font size, letter spacing, line height, etc. Use the Details section for this
- Download the webpage with Bionic Reading mode as PDF or ePub. Use the Download icon present on the top right part to use these options.
Download the Bionic Reading Chrome extension here.
Use Bionic Reading on Microsoft Edge
Since we know that we can install extensions from Chrome Webstore to MS Edge browser, open Edge browser on your PC and open Chrome Web store. Search for Bionic Reading and install it on your browser. Just like Chrome, this extension will sit on the toolbar on your Edge browser. When you want to read out anything on the web, click on the extension and the tool will convert the text into the Bionic Reading format.
Download the Chrome extension for your Edge browser from the Bionic Extension Page. If you are a student having the reading material online, or for your work you need to read a lot on your computer, or even if you are an avid book reader, Bionic Reading is a great tool for you.
Bionic Reading Converter
If you don’t want to install an extension on your toolbar, you can also use the Bionic Reading Converter. This is an online tool wherein you can add the text manually, upload a text file or add a URL of the webpage you want to read. The tool supports RFTD, EUPB, and DOCX text file formats only.
Like the extensions, this converter also converts your text into the Bionic format in real-time. It is a free tool and very easy to use. The tool page by default is made in German language but you can translate it into English.
Overall, Bionic Reading is a nice free utility for everyone. It is a very light utility and lands on your toolbar in less than a minute. If not in use, you can remove the extension from the toolbar and pin it again when required. You can read ebooks, webpages, and RSS feeds using Bionic Reading.
TIP: You can also enable EPUB support in Microsoft Edge.
How do I use the Bionic reader on Chrome?
Chrome browser doesn’t come with a native Bionic reader feature or hidden flags setting. But you can turn a webpage for Bionic Reading mode using a free Chrome extension. You can check the detailed information about that Bionic Reading Chrome extension in this post above. You can also use this Bionic Reading extension for the Microsoft Edge browser.
Is Bionic Reading a free tool?
Yes, Bionic Reading is a free tool and is available as an extension in the Chrome Webstore. You can download it and use it on Chrome, Edge, and Brave web browsers.
What is Bionic Reading Converter?
Bionic Reading Converter is a free online tool that converts your text into a Bionic Reading format where the first few letters of every word are highlighted. This makes your reading easier, better, and faster.